Bun Mam at Viet Foods, Eden Center

Bun Mam is a powerful fermented fish soup, mostly avoided by the non-Viet customers at Eden Center. In fact, when I ordered it at Viet Foods, the waiter said , “Wow.” He didn’t try to dissuade me, just one word, Wow.

And Wow is right. Wow as in super delicious with a rich, sour flavor that was softened by a background sweetness and punched up with hot peppers. The soup was spicier than I expected, but not too spicy.

The soup had slabs of fish, some shrimp, squid, slices of chicken, chicken skin, eggplant, and a kind of squash. The noodles were thicker than I expected, like a spaghetti, but had good texture. The eggplant and squash arrive at the table hard and clumsy to eat. I let them sit in the hot broth, they softened up a bit to where I could actually eat them. They were fantastic having soaked in the soup, though I still had to scrape away the interior from the skin and eat it in two steps.

At $17, this is a giant meal that could easily feed two, and maybe even three people. It was served with a mountain of add-in ingredients and an extra shot of fermented and spicy sauce. I added that about half way through. Just be careful of the peppers, though, they are seriously hot.

Next door at Huong Binh, they have a new frothy salty coffee drink:

The bottom is ice cold milk and the top is a thick froth of intense coffee, sweetened and a little salty, but very agreeable. This is not just a drink, but a project. It’s not easy to mix the two parts together. Definitely make sure you get napkins with this. Well worth the $5 without the option of coffee jelly.